DCL MS. B.III.16Rabanus Maurus, In Mattheum
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Rabanus Maurus, In Mattheum copied in Normandy in the late 11th century and given to Durham Priory by William of St Calais (died 1096) as part of a large gift of books at the foundation of the monastery.

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mr781wg027.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: ii+160+i f.
Size: 338 mm x 248 mm


Modern pencil foliation.

Secundo folio: ra offerentibus

I4, II-XVII8, XVIII8 (leaves 3 and 6 are singletons), XIX8; XX4 (originally a bifolium, but another bifolium from a different book was subsequently inserted within it). The original book comprised f.2-158 and 161. The blank leaf that originally concluded (c) and the book as a whole is now f.161 - owing to the intrusion of f.159-160

Signatures: Contemporary signatures, final verso, lower margin, centre for part of book.

Two columns, 40 lines


Written by four scribes:
f.1r-3v, 6r, col. i, line 10-158v: Protogothic
f.6r, col. i, lines 1-9 (i.e. the start of (c)). ProtoGothic (also appears in DCL MS B.III.1 and DCL MS B.III.10).
Corrections by the contemporary hand that also corrected DCL MS. A.II.4 and DCL MS. B.III.1.
Augustine fragment written in Protogothic in one or two hands.

Corrections and annotation

The fragment of Augustine is the remnants of one of the two copies of Augustine, De verbis domini recorded on the12th century book-list, DCD Misc Ch. 7143 (printed Mynors, p. 10-11, no. 22 or 23 - the other copy being DCL MS. B.II.18). When the book was dismembered and joined to the main parts of B.III.10 and B.III.16 is unclear.


Standard Tuckett binding, mid 19th century full brown calf over thick wooden boards (Charles Tuckett, binder to the British Museum, rebound many Durham manuscripts in the 19th century)

Manuscript history

Written in France, Normandy, before 1096.


Given to Durham Priory by William of St Calais.

Inscription: “liber sancti Cuthbertj de Dunelmo”, late 12th century, f.2r, upper margin, right. Pressmark: “.A.”, later 14th century, f.2r, upper margin, centre. “A“ plus title, almost entirely cropped away, arly 15th century, f.2r, upper margin, left. In the Cloister catalogue, marked “In libraria”.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.2r-3v
Modern title: Prologue and chapter list for Rabanus Maurus, In Mattheum
Author: Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mainz, 784?-856
Incipit: Memor itaque illius precepti quod per vas
Explicit: semper corroborare dignetur
Rubric: Domino beatissimo ac merito uenerabili et in conspectu domini sincera caritate karissimo patri haistulfo archiepiscopo Rabanus indignus presbiter aeternae pacis in Christo optat sa
Language: Latin
(b)     f.4r
Modern title: Double Acrostic Verses on the Evangelists
Incipit: Matheus levi comitem tenet ordinem arcum
Explicit: Lucas de promit sancti sacramenta iohannis.
Language: Latin

37 lines of verse, sometimes (but not explicitly here) attributed to Rabanus Maurus. f.4v-5v blank

(c)     f.6-158
Original title: In Mattheum
Author: Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mainz, 784?-856
Incipit: Expositionem itaque scripturus in evangelium Beati mathei opportunum esse iudicavi
Explicit: secum uite celestis premia subleuet, in qua uiuit et regnat cum patre deus in unitate spiritus sancti. Per omnia secula seculorum. Amen
Language: Latin
(d)     f.159 & 160
Original title: Sermones de verbis Domini (fragment)
Author: Augustine, of Hippo, Saint, 354-430
Language: Latin

Sermon 55 and fragment of Sermon 61. Part of the same book as DCL MS B.III.10, f.239 & 242.

Microfilmed in 1985/86 by the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, St John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Copies held by them and Durham University Library.

Digitised material for Durham Cathedral Library MS. B.III.16 - Rabanus Maurus, In Mattheum
Digitised July 2015 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project


Catalogi veteres librorum Ecclesiae cathedralis dunelm. Catalogues of the library of Durham cathedral, at various periods, from the conquest to the dissolution, including catalogues of the library of the abbey of Hulne, and of the mss.   OCLC citation, Surtees Society 7, (London: J.B. Nichols and Son, [1838]).

Mynors, R.A.B., Durham Cathedral manuscripts to the end of the twelfth century. Ten plates in colour and forty-seven in monochrome. With an introduction [including a list of all known Durham manuscripts before 1200]   OCLC citation, (Durham: 1939)

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